Reacting to Bad News



Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
(Matthew 14:13 NASB)



John the Baptist had prepared the way for Jesus and had baptized him at the onset of his ministry. Now, John had been imprisoned and finally beheaded. The disciples of John came and personally brought the news to Jesus and his disciples. Jesus experienced very human emotions and had to take time to go and deal with his grief. He couldn't be around all the people, but he got into a boat and went off to be by himself.



There is much to be learned from Jesus, and not just about his death on the cross and what that means for us, but also from the way in which he lived life. Jesus is the ultimate example of living out the sanctified life here on this earth. I think that there are times that we think of Jesus as superhuman and of being able to handle so much more than we may be able to handle. However, he truly did come to earth in human form and experienced life in the same way that we experience life.

So what happens when we receive bad news? Somehow I think there is a misconception that as a follower of Christ we should be able to keep a stiff upper lip and just "handle it." Jesus couldn't -- why do we think we can? Jesus had to take time to deal with his grief. He couldn't continue to minister to other people, instead he had to get away. He didn't even go away with all of his disciples, but went away all by himself. He got in a boat, found a place of seclusion and was all alone. We don't know what he did out there in the boat all by himself, but we can imagine that he had some pretty strong conversations with his Father. Not only was this a deep personal loss, but it also represented the reality of what was going to happen to him. This was an incredibly sobering moment for Jesus and he had to take some time to regroup before he could continue in his ministry.

Jesus was not superhuman, and neither are we. There will be difficult times in life when we will need to retreat, cry out to the Father, and ask him to renew our strength. Who knows how long we may need to stay out in our secluded boat -- but we must be willing to give ourselves the space and the time to allow God to minister to us at the point of our deepest need.



Lord, thank you that you have provided an example for us, and provide space for us as we come to those moments of grief in our lives. Amen.


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